When the Lights Go Down

The hardest part of following Jesus is following Jesus.

If you've even been paying the slightest attention to what I've been up to over the past couple months, you know that I've had my head in the clouds, or the sand... or a book.
Chad Johnson

Chad is the founder of Come&Live!

Website: www.facebook.com/chadisliving

My music history past (see this Relevant Magazine article, if you're unfamiliar with that part of my life) always involved the process of building bands. Of helping bands grow. Aiding them in sorting out potential record producers, publicists, booking agents, managers, label idiosyncrasies, and the like. In other words, I was paid to serve creatives.

For the first time in my 44-year old life, I am the artist. The problem is that I've never envisioned myself as an artist, nor did I ever anticipate being one. Then, I spent five years living, writing, and editing a book.

Talking about my book is not the objective here (though, clearly, that's hard not to do, as it's pretty much all I've been eating or drinking lately). The point is to speak to you about what happens after the book launches (insert your creative project here: song, album, painting, film, etc.). Sooner or later - and it usually is much sooner, than later - the lights go down. The show is over. All the fans go home, and the screaming comes to an end.

On Tuesday, December 5th (the day I released my book), I felt as if it were my birthday because every few minutes, Amazon, my phone, or Facebook, would light up with a compliment like:

"Chad is such an inspiring person, and this book shows that in droves."

"Congrats dude! This book is the real deal."

"I devoured it! Buy this book!"

and...

"If Chad's not-so-secret agenda is to provoke the reader to action, mission accomplished."

You get the idea.

Now, it's Thursday, December 7th, and most of the noise has quieted down.

What do we do, as artists and creatives, when the buzz has worn off? If we're not careful, we'll mistake the compliments, kind words, and applause for praise we deserve.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. There is only ONE who is worthy of receiving all our glory—Jesus. It's essential for me to ask myself, "Did I place my whole-hearted energy into something that the masses celebrate me for, or did I create whole-heartedly for the King of the Universe?"

Can you help me understand this creative process? How have you handled the lights going down on your most appreciated, creative effort?

If you're curious to learn more about One Thousand Risks, the book, visit www.chadisliving.com/onethousandrisks.

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